by Bea Garth,
copyright 2010
(Note: written in honor of Greg Hall’s poem and chapbook:
You Can Say Anything,” copyright 2009)
His black derby hat
hovers in the air
as if he were still sitting
on his couch, the elaborate
light French print
of candelabra
etched on the silver
velvet drapes
behind him.
His eyes, deep,
penetrate his absence,
the couch, still indented
from his heavy frame.
On the table his glass
sits waiting to be filled
with fresh ice and Jack Daniels.
“Where did you go?” I ask him
“You disappeared so suddenly.
We all miss you terribly.”
He smiles his slow, deep smile
and puts his hands on mine.
“Dear one,” he says, “Take heart.
I am always with you
whenever you think of me.”
I look askance, “How can that be?”
But soon I realize what he means.
Deep inside he is there with me
when I sleep or when I put on my hat
and go wandering out on my daily walks
looking up at those bare leaved elm trees,
their huge branches beckoning,
strong and filigreed.
He speaks to me of birch, willow and oak,
of diamond sparkled waters and deep springs.
I see his large form move
from oceans and lakes, streams and forests
his hat still  hovering.
“Put it on,” he says.
I look and wonder: “Should I?”
I imagine him gone in a puff
of etheric smoke, winking at me,
his hat spinning  up
into the center of the Universe
while roots hang down,
filling the air with arabesque patterns,
his sweet resonant voice echoing
off of the curved bell of his hat:
“We are free,” he says,
“free to be who we want to be,
free to say anything!”
and my heart goes out
since I know he’s right.
I take the gift of roots
and the hovering hat
realizing I can access him,
realizing I can access myself
anywhere, anytime in this difficult
yet beautiful planet
in a teeming universe
full of trees, light and water,
whether corporeal
or not.

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